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What’s In It for Me?

When I am already so busy with work, family and other activities, why should I do this, too?

Getting prepared for emergencies:

What made you decide to get prepared?

The knowledge that the real First Responder is me.

If not me, then who? The First Responders may be busy helping someone else.

Why should I get prepared?

You can’t prepare after it happens. You can’t fasten your seatbelt during a crash. You can’t buy supplies after an earthquake closes the stores.

You either need it or you don’t. If you need it, it could save your life or make recovery easier and knowing you have it gives you peace of mind and comfort, like fire or car insurance.

Being prepared, knowing you are self-sufficient for at least 3 days, for instance, gives you independence and confidence you and your family will be OK and you can help friends and neighbors.

Because you don’t know the future, but you can get ready for a lot of what may happen.

Do you have tips on how to get prepared?

Do it in chunks. Break it down.

Look on the internet and get a list to help you get started.

There are 2 kinds of being prepared:
  • Stock up on what you would need to stay in your house. 
  • Make a go-bag of what you would need if you had to leave the house quickly. Keep the go-bag where you can get it easily.

Do you have experiences of how preparedness was fun for the family or brought the family together?

My son learned CPR as a Cub Scout. Kids love helping and knowing what to do gives them security.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training:

What made you decide to take CERT?

I wanted to increase my chances of survival and be able to help my family and fellow man.You can learn about local hazards and potential disasters and practice the skills you need to respond to emergencies if they happen.

I can be ready to help safely and effectively if I am needed.

You learn how to help your family and neighbors right away and be available if you are activated to help others.

What was the most important and/or useful thing you learned?

Do the most good for the most people.

Start where you stand.

What was the funniest or more memorable experience of the course or of being a part of the CERT team since the course?

Definitely duct taping a victim to a backboard. Oh, the wonders of duct tape.

What is something you have learned through CERT training or participation you use in daily life?

I pay closer attention to people in general.

Why do you have a 2-way radio? What kind(s) – FRS, FRS/GMRS, Ham?
Has it been useful for family or emergency use?

Ham radio is often the only communication available in an emergency. FRS/GMRS radios are for shorter distances and are less expensive so all the neighbors can have one.

Ham radio operators can talk to and make new friends around the world. They learn about air waves and propagation, radios and antennas and can construct and modify their equipment.

FRS/GMRS radios can sometimes transmit where cell phones cannot. On a visit to a Disney park, all the family members had radios as well as the adults having cell phones. Both radios and phones were used at one time or another. The younger children were thrilled to use the radios and could do so very well. At one outdoor show, all the children were seated down in front and the adults stood at the very back. Just before the show started, our daughter used her radio to call her son down in front. He answered promptly, “Yes, mom” She said, “Get the gum out of your mouth.”

The only thing I ask folks who comment about my antenna, is "What will you do for your family if the electricity is out for 3 days or more?"

God forbid the water pipes get broken in a couple dozen places.  They just stare at me as if it were utterly impossible.  I then ask if they are prepared to make a decision.  Of course they usually say "I'll think about it".  Then my killer response - "it's too late to think about it, you've already made the decision".You can tell me anything, but in reality you are either prepared or you are not. You cannot tell your family in the pitch darkness that 'you're thinking about it'.

Because of countless other good citizens who have asked themselves the same question and yet committed to public safety, you are now enjoying the free and safe community of Costa Mesa that those others made possible for you and your family. We all lose if we break the chain of giving something back to our community.